Drug & Birth Injury Attorneys in Corpus Christi
Effexor (chemical name venlafaxine) is one of the most widely prescribed
antidepressants in the United States, with approximately 17 million prescriptions
issued every year. Once thought to be a relatively safe way to treat depression
and anxiety with a low risk of side effects, recent research shows that
use of the drug by pregnant women and women of child-bearing age may cause
major birth defects. Effexor is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
(SNRI), which treats anxiety and depression by altering brain chemistry.
While Effexor has been on the market for more than two decades, evidence
has recently come to light that Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now a subsidiary
of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer), the drug’s manufacturer, marketed
Effexor as safe for use by pregnant women despite knowing that its use
could cause birth defects. If you took Effexor while pregnant and your
child was born with serious birth injuries or birth defects, reach out
to the legal team at Bandas Law Firm, P.C. Our Corpus Christi drug injury
lawyers can help you determine if you have grounds for an Effexor lawsuit
and if so, will help you fight for the maximum compensation you and your
child are owed.
Call our office at (361) 238-2789 or contact us online today for a free,
Early Studies Show Links between Effexor & Birth Defects
Animal studies have shown that Effexor poses a risk to human fetuses. The
FDA has categorized Effexor as a Pregnancy Category C Drug, meaning that
it could potentially harm a fetus, particularly if used during the third
trimester. Women are strongly cautioned against taking the drug while
pregnant today; however, historically this was not the case. Moreover,
drug makers backing Effexor encouraged illegal off-label use of the drug
in contraindicated patient populations, including minors and pregnant women.
What Birth Defects Does Effexor Cause, According to the FDA?
Children born to women who take Effexor during pregnancy may suffer from
abdominal, heart, and lung defects. Other documented conditions include
spina bifida, club feet, and birth defects involving skull formation.
Some parents whose children were born with these birth defects have already
filed suit against Wyeth under a theory of product liability.
In 2012, two of the first Effexor lawsuits were filed in Pennsylvania on
behalf of two children, Alvia Adamczyk and Lilypearl Demastus. The mothers
of the two children took Effexor while pregnant. The resulting birth defects
were devastating to their families. Alvia was born with hypoplastic left
heart syndrome, a heart valve defect that causes problems with breathing
and circulation. Lilypearl suffered from craniosynostosis, a premature
fusing of skull bones that puts pressure on the brain and prevents it
from properly forming. Both conditions are extremely rare and life-threatening.
The conditions required surgery to correct.
In their lawsuits, the mothers of both children stated that they were not
warned of the dangers of Effexor before or during pregnancy and that they
would not have taken Effexor while pregnant if doctors had informed them
of the possibilities of birth defects. At the time, Effexor carried no
warning label about possible birth defects. The women allege that Wyeth
knew about the risks Effexor posed to pregnant women but kept the information
hidden from doctors and patients.
Many other Effexor lawsuits involving birth defects have been filed against
Wyeth since the initial Pennsylvania claims. Patients and former users
of Effexor are encouraged to consult directly with legal counsel about
their individual legal options as additional lawsuits involving Effexor
causing birth defects move forward.
What Damage Awards Are Permissible in Effexor Lawsuits?
A successful lawsuit against a drug manufacturer can force the company
to pay for medical bills and lost wages for a child with birth defects.
A family may also be awarded damages for pain and suffering, as well as
for punitive damages if a manufacturer covered up evidence of the dangers
of a drug. Such suits can drag on for years as attorneys seek to uncover
information about what sort of risks a manufacturer was aware of. Medical
experts also need to be consulted about the nature of these drugs and
how the medical problems they can cause.
Because of the complicated nature of such cases, filing a legal claim against
a drug maker is best handled by attorneys with experience in the field
of pharmaceutical litigation.
Statutes of Limitations in the State of Texas Regarding Effexor
Effexor lawsuits proceed under the theory of products liability, which
requires manufacturers to provide safe products to the public or at least
make consumers aware of possible risks from the correct use of the product.
The statutes of limitation for a products liability case varies from two
to six years depending on the state. While most states have statutes of
limitation of two or three years, there are almost certainly other procedural
considerations that may add an additional layer of urgency to filing a
In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations requires that an action
must be brought within two years of when the injury occurred in a product
liability or defective drug claims case. Typically, the statute of limitations
will begin running from the date of birth of the child but, again, this
is highly contingent upon case-specific factors relating to the date of
reasonable discovery of harm in a birth injury claims case related to Effexor.
To learn more, please contact our Corpus Christi drug injury attorneys
for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (361) 238-2789 or submit
an online contact form today.